Vancouver Mayor: City Is 'At a Breaking Point'

Urgent action needed to cool housing market, but Gregor Robertson says he needs help. Last in a series.

By David P. Ball

This spring, Vancouver hit another milestone as one of the world’s most expensive places to live.

The month of May set a 10-year record for total real estate sales in the Lower Mainland, with detached home prices leaping 15 per cent in the past 12 months to an average $1.1 million across the region. Condominium prices rose even faster, by a full quarter.

Zoom in on the city of Vancouver itself and the situation is even more extreme. May hit a record average selling price of $2.2 million for single detached homes, 20 per cent above last year.

Skyrocketing prices have sparked heated arguments over the role of real estate speculators and foreign buyers in the crisis, and rallied crowds under the #DontHave1Million and #GiveUsData banners.

Reporter David P. Ball talked to Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson about what he thinks must be done to keep the city livable for its residents, and to answer questions raised in a recent Tyee Solutions Society series on the city’s out of control housing market. The interview is edited for clarity and length.

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